One of the exercises my clients work on as part of the executive branding process is doing a SWOT analysis (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats).
Because, as c-level and senior-level executives, they’re typically in the 45 to 55 age range, many list their age as a weakness.
As long as they’re not overqualified for the kinds of jobs they’re targeting – that is, their skill sets, qualifications and experience are a good fit – I reassure them that the wisdom that comes with their years of experience will probably outweigh any age issues.
In his Job-Hunt.org article, Managing the Age Issue with Recruiters, executive recruiter Jeff Lipschultz of A-List Solutions suggested using career success stories to leverage your age as an asset, promote your expertise and support the value you offer. See my post Storytelling Propels Executive Branding and Job Search for tips on developing stories that will resonate with your target employers.
Along with being realistic about salary/benefits and remembering to stress the value of the extensive network of possible leads you bring to the table, that can benefit recruiters, Jeff offered this advice:
Making a good impression is half the battle in an interview. I have interviewed and hired plenty of candidates over the age of 40. Some had grey hair. Some had a long resume. But the best had enthusiasm, energy, and professional goals for themselves.
Instead of saying “I have many years to go in my career” consider, “I have many things I would like to accomplish to call my professional life a success,” and then list some of those things.
You need to be as ambitious as you were when you first entered the workforce. You need to project this during interviews. Let the interviewer know why you’re excited about the opportunity and what you can bring to company.
This is the same advice for everyone, but sometimes, older candidates can appear as if they are just trying to find any job that will carry them along for five, ten, or more years. Hiring managers want go-getters, no matter the age.